Like a Las Vegas magician’s act: POOF, most of the stars have vanished from this week’s PGA Tour stop.
Following two straight weeks of star-studded events, this week’s leaderboard has seen a majority of the top-50 players in the world rankings skip this event (Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth lead a group of 10 of the top-50 players entered) as the Florida swing comes to an end.
At this week’s Valspar Championship, being held at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida, there will be no Jon Rahm, no Scottie Scheffler, no Rory McIlroy.
The good news is there will be a full field battling for an $8.1 million purse. That’s not exactly chopped liver but it pales when you compare it to Scheffler, who pocketed $4.5 million from the $25 million purse at last week’s Players Championship.
In the process, Scheffler also moved back to No. 1 in the world rankings. So this is one of those weeks where players in the mid-pack of the FedEx Cup points race as well as those looking to make their name on the PGA Tour take aim at the title.
That’s good news for those players looking to add to their bank accounts, but it makes it that much tougher on bettors looking to cash in.
If bettors can sift through all of the numbers and come up with a winner, there’s no doubt they are looking at a big payday as the favorites this week start at +1100.
Odds to Win the Valspar Championship
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Sam Burns: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
There’s still a smattering of players in this week’s field that certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone if they won.
That includes Sam Burns. If you’re confused about those last two sentences, don’t be. Burns, at +1600 this week and the third choice behind Thomas at +1100 and Spieth at +1400, has won this tournament the last two years.
As a two-time champion, there’s no doubt he has what it takes to get into the winner’s circle.
That’s the good.
The bad is he’s only 68th in the FedEx Cup points race, and has dropped to No. 14 in the world rankings. He was as high as ninth prior to that.
The ugly comes into play in that he had two straight missed cuts in high-profile events, missing the weekend in the Genesis Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He did get back into form last week at The Players Championship, finishing T-35, so we’ll see if he rides that momentum into a good showing this week.
With all of that in mind, we’re still going to steer away from him winning for the simple fact those back-to-back missed cuts bring a little doubt into the back of our mind and probably his as well.
In fact, it appears it’s pretty easy to win two times here as Burns was the fourth player to do it joining Paul Casey (2018-2019), Retief Goosen (2003 and 2009), and K.J. Choi (2002 and 2006). Nobody has won it three times, and we’re betting that streak continues.
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It’s Time for Davis Riley to Finally Win
This is one of those weeks where those who haven’t won on the PGA Tour are salivating at the chance that sits right in front of them.
When the top players take a week off, it’s a prime time for those who have been close to winning to finally get there — and we do mean close when it comes to Davis Riley.
Riley, at an eye-popping +4000 this week, lost last year’s title to Burns on the first playoff hole. Both finished at 17-under-par with Burns winning the title by birdieing the second playoff hole.
Riley’s had 360-plus days to figure out how to take that one final step and pick up his first victory. He had three straight missed cuts earlier in this calendar year before turning things around with a T-29 at the Honda Classic. He followed that up with a T-8 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Last week he struggled at The Players and, again, missed the cut. So which Davis Riley do we see this week? We’re going with the one who came oh-so-close to winning right here last year.
Looking at a Longshot
OK, we’re going out on a limb for this pick. We’re going way, way out in looking at Pierceson Coody at +11000.
You might be saying who?
Well, we’re here to tell you that Coody is about to bust onto the scene big-time. Coody, along with his twin brother Parker, are third-generation professional golfers and the grandsons of legendary Charles Coody.
Pierceson Coody has two starts on the PGA Tour since earning his promotion through his play on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he won twice. He’s now on the big stage and has two made-cuts with a best finish of T-14 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
It may be a little too early for him to pick up that first PGA Tour victory, but many others have won very early in their careers. We’re thinking this might be another one of those times.
Around the Prop Scene
OK, we’ve piqued your imagination with Pierceson Coody, but you’re not sold on him winning this early in his life on the PGA Tour. That’s fine. How about picking him to be in the top-20 at +400. It’s not a +11000 number, but it’s still a solid return on your investment.
We’re also going to take a look at a five-way matcuhup. We like Justin Rose at +300 to finish higher than the group of Adam Hadwin, Tommy Fleetwood, Wyndham Clark, and Maverick
Rose comes into this week off a T-6 at The Players, where a double bogey on the final hole likely cost him a possible T-3 finish worth another $900,000 or so. He doesn’t usually tee it up in this event, but he’s playing well enough that we’re sure he wants to keep rolling while his game is in top form.